Alagang AKAY, in partnership with the Sol Aragones Foundation, has rolled out a total of 1000 wheelchairs for PWDs and families in back-to-back programs held December 4 at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and December 6 at the Quezon Convention Center, Lucena City in Quezon.
The events were in line with the global commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities which was set by the United Nations General Assembly 30 years ago in 1992 to be held on the 3rd of December of each year.
The initiative was launched in partnership with Sol Aragones Foundation chaired by former news reporter and media personality Sol Aragones who also became Laguna 3rd District Representative for three terms.
According to Aragones: “Napakahalaga ng araw na ito para sa mga PWD at kanilang mga pamilya na bahagi ng Alagang Akay community. Nais namin ng Akay Foundation na tuparin ang pangarap ng mga PWD na magkaroon ng wheelchair at saklay sa abot ng aming makakaya.”
“Gusto din namin sila bigyan ng inspirasyon na piliin na maging masaya kaysa malungkot. May pagasang naghihintay sa PWD – aakayin namin sila,” Aragones added.
Alagang AKAY Ambassadors: Quality of Life, Dignity, Passion for Service The celebrations were led by AKAY Ambassadors Dwight Bayona, a leg amputee and multi-sport athlete who wears a mechanical leg and “Chef with No Hands” Maricel Apatan.
“Alagang AKAY is PWD-led and founded on a mission to uplift the quality of life and uphold the dignity of PWDs through a holistic approach that includes, direct care, education, livelihood, employment as well as opportunities for community service,” said Bayona whose leg was crushed in an accident when he was 24 years old. The accident happened when he himself stopped to aid an earlier crash victim.
Chef with No Hands Maricel Apatan meanwhile demonstrated cooking skills via an AVP shown at the program. According to Apatan: “Nagtapos po ako ng HRM at nagpatuloy sa Culinary Arts. Sinundan ko lang po ang aking puso.”
Apatan added: “Ang letrang A po sa A.K.A.Y ay para sa Aral o Education. Kung susundan po natin ang ating puso o passion sa anumang bagay, kailangan pong aralin natin ang larangang iyon. Nagpapasalamat ako sa pagkakataon na makapag-aral at sundan ang puso ko.”
Alagang AKAY Inc., is a non-profit organization on a mission to uplift the quality of life, and promote the dignity of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and those of their families.
Its holistic approach to this mission includes:
Tapping medical and other professionals in assisting PWDs and making medical technologies and other innovations accessible to PWDs,
Tapping community leaders to help identify, screen and prioritize those who will immediately benefit from specific assistance and interventions,
Collaborating with organizations, both government and private, who are able to provide education, training and work opportunities for PWDs so as to afford them the dignity of a productive life; one that contributes to their families, communities, society, and humanity indeed.